- Showdown: The TikTok war: China will take action if the US "steals" its popular ap
Donald Trump remains hell-bent on cleaning up Chinese apps from U.S. networks. The particular war with TikTok has taken a further step after the President of the United States has signed an executive order prohibiting any transaction or business with ByteDance, the parent company of the popular short video app. The new decree, which evokes a threat to "national security, foreign policy, and the United States economy," will take effect in 45 days and the TikTok veto has been joined by that of the WeChat messaging application , controlled by the tech giant Tencent. An unexpected blow for the thousands of Chinese who live in the United States and who use WeChat because it is the only way they have to communicate with their relatives in China.
In the Asian country, WeChat is not only the equivalent of WhatsApp in the West. In addition to chatting with contacts and being able to make video calls, in recent years it has become the wallet of millions of Chinese with whom they move in their day to day without having to leave home with cash. With WeChat you can also order food, book train and plane tickets, and access a wide catalog of online clothing stores. And by shaking the mobile within a section of the application, nearby people appear with whom to interact and flirt.
It even has its wechatmoments becoming a social network for more than 1,000 million users that mixes some things from Facebook and Instagram. But the truth is that this application has a close collaboration with the Communist Party and has starred in several years of episodes of espionage and censorship of users within the Asian giant.
With Washington's new veto on WeChat, many Chinese users who have Apple mobiles are wondering if they will have to change their phones if the American company removes the app from the App Store. WeChat's veto blocks app-related transactions, but for now it has not reached any deal with its owner, Tencent, which is among the world's most prolific tech investors, with stakes ranging from the Reddit social platform to developers. from video games like League of Legends and Fortnite. Of course, after the announcement of the White House, shares on the Tencent stock market have plummeted this Friday by more than 5% .
However, the order against TikTok does block any North American operation with the ByteDance company. "The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security," Trump said in the text of the executive order. "The (TikTok) data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party to access Americans' personal and private information, potentially allowing China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, create personal information files to blackmail and conduct corporate espionage, "the order continues.
Last week, Trump already gave TikTok until September 15 to pass into the hands of US capital or he could no longer operate in his country for national security reasons. The new imposition from Washington increases pressure on ByteDance to accelerate its negotiations for the possible sale of TikTok to Microsoft.
From Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin has responded this Friday saying that his government "will defend the rights and legitimate interests of Chinese companies and the United States will have to bear the consequences of its actions." Wang believes the Trump administration is "using the excuse of national security and state power to oppress non-US companies. That is just hegemonic practice. China strongly opposes that."
Since TikTok they have also responded by threatening to take legal action against the United States. The Beijing-based company, which claims to be "shocked" by an executive order from President Trump, says it "will seek all available resources" to "ensure that the rule of law is not ruled out."
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